With mobile device ownership and usage soaring in this region, there is no doubt that mobile should be a key part of the media mix. But instead of getting carried away with widespread brand visibility on mobile devices, we should dig a little deeper to think about how we can truly engage consumers in the way that they want to be engaged through mobile.
Here are my five key takeaways for effective mobile marketing. Hopefully this will provide some food for thought for you to shape your mobile marketing strategy for the region.
1. Think consumer-first
Asian brands often recognise the importance of mobile, and are already including mobile marketing into their media mix. However, beyond the allocation of a set percentage of marketing budget to cover mobile, our strategies should really be focused on engaging the consumer behind the screen, and be driven by the consumers’ expectations of the devices.
We found out in our Meet The Screens research that consumers engage with different screens in different ways. The PC is a powerhouse that provides maximum productivity, while the mobile phone is a personal device that has a deeper level of intimacy with the user. Placing the consumer first in mobile marketing strategies would mean crafting brand messages and experiences in a way that add value to the consumer experience, instead of disrupting them with annoying popups and unrelated messages.
Evolution of consumer-device relationships between 2010 and 2014. Source: Microsoft’s Meet The Screens Study
2. Expand the definition of mobile beyond the smartphone
While mobile commonly equates to the smartphone for many, the definition needs to be expanded way beyond that. In this day and age, mobile devices could refer to connected smartphones and tablets, two-in-one hybrid devices, smart watches and more. And this also means marketers can have a wider range of opportunities to provide value-added experiences to consumers beyond just the smartphone.
In fact, marketing efficacy also increases with advertising across multiple screens. In a recent post-campaign survey conducted following a multi-screen ad campaign implemented across Microsoft platforms, we found that consumers who were exposed to the full series of ads across screens were 72 per cent more likely to conduct searches relating to the brand, making the potential benefits of multi-screen marketing too attractive to ignore.
3. Make data work harder for you
Building upon the idea of creating brand experiences that add value to the consumer, brands can harness the power of data to do so. Our Digital Trends study identified that 54 per cent of global online consumers expect brands to know the right moment to talk to them and that 61 per cent are more likely to buy from your brand if you offer a “pleasantly surprising experience”, something that can be achieved through programmatic buying.
With the richness of data provided by publishers and advertisers, programmatic enables more accurate audience targeting beyond demographics, allowing brands to find specific audiences in a more efficient manner. And this also means that brands can delve deeper into the consumer’s buying patterns and serve relevant offers and messages that offer pleasantly surprising experiences to them.
4. Create rich, immersive consumer experiences
Beyond brand visibility, it is also important to create rich, immersive experiences that capture the attention and imagination of consumers. To cite a recent in-house example, Disney and Microsoft created Inside Out emotions for Skype for the launch of the Inside Out movie, allowing users to express their emotions of Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness using the Inside Out characters.
Brands need to continuously explore possibilities to incorporate immersive experiences into ad and app designs.
5. Trust is paramount
While the first four considerations are keys to success, maintaining trust with consumers is paramount. Privacy and security of personal data can make or break the reputation of brands, and it is of utmost importance to maintain trust with consumers in the exchange of data.
Our Consumer Data Value Exchange research found that there is a 15 per cent gap globally between what consumers consciously share, and the types of data they believe brands collect anyway, without their explicit consent. The study also revealed that brands that can offer a clear benefit to data sharing, as well as provide greater transparency over what is collected and how it will be used, will find more positive ways to engage with consumers. This transparency by brands, when combined with clear benefits for consumers, will also help to alleviate consumer anxiety about data sharing.
However, not all countries in Asia Pacific have the same level of perception. Consumers in China are far more willing to allow brands to use their data, as compared to Hong Kong, where advertisers are beginning to see pushback from users. That said, brands need to ensure they do not cross that line and come across as creepy or worse, betraying a users’ trust.
While these five keys provide valuable consideration points when crafting mobile-marketing strategies, it is always important to remember that the consumer’s perceptions and experiences can make or break a brand. By placing consumers in the centre of everything we do, this will pave the way for the creation of beautiful, value-added experiences that delight and surprise our consumers in new and exciting ways.
Adam Anger is general manager, Asia Pacific, with Microsoft Advertising